Immerse yourself in a city different from anyplace most people have traveled to. Though there are numerous sites to see in Addis Ababa, half the fun here is just being there. In a place so vastly different from anything that most Westerners are used to, just walking down the street becomes an adventure. Traditional foods, clothing and markets alone are worth the price of airfare. While in the city however, be sure to check out Meskel Square, and if you're lucky enough to be in town during September, make certain to stick around for the 1600-year-old Meskel Festival. Also, seek out the the soaring Anwar Mosque and Hager Fikir Theatre, which was founded in 1935 and served as a base for those opposing the impending invasion of Italy.
Addis Ababa Tourism Commision
P.O. Box 5212
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
011 (+251) 011 157 2862
Awash National Park
Go on safari in Awash National Park in Ethiopia. Awash National Park is located 139 miles east of the capital, Addis Ababa. Within a landscape of mainly grassland and acacia woodland, the national park is home to a wide variety of critters, including the giant tortoise, baboons, the occasional night-prowling leopard, oryx, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, boar, hamadryas, gazelle, kudu colobus monkey and numerous others. Also worth visiting in the park is the Fantalle Crater, natural hot springs at Filwoha and the Awash River where waterfalls can be seen. Though there are two lodging options within the park, a much better way to experience the area is by just pitching a tent in one of the parks camping sites. Roads can be rough so visitors are advised to use only four-wheel drive.
Awash National Park Information
Save Awash National Park
P.O. Box 42578
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Discover the ancient ruins and former capital of the kingdom of Axum while looking for the ghost of Queen Sheba. Located in and around the present day site of the city of Aksum in the far north, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers visitors the chance to interpret numerous stelae, some as tall as 78 feet. Heading west to the Gudit Stelae, these monuments to the dead are interspersed with tombs, including King Bazen's tomb. Dating back to at least 1 B.C. The town is also home to the seventeenth century Cathedral of St. Mary, which legend describes as the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Though poor today, Axum at its height was a major trading junction and both the ancient sites and modern town make for a worthwhile historical tour.